Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 39: City of Hills

Holly Park and Bernal Hill, San Francisco, CA 6:50am - 7:50am
mostly clear, comfortable winds

San Francisco would be the perfect sunrise city if it wasn't for all the fog.

On a day as clear and gorgeous as today, though, it IS the perfect city. I am surrounded by hills to pick and choose from, in any direction.

As usual, I head East.

At Holly Hill I catch the tail end of the sun rising over the Bay, water alit, distant hills in vivid relief. Just north of me, my real goal, Bernal Hill, beckons enticingly with its green beauty and the inspiring silhouette of a single runner ascending its crest. I want to be that runner!

In between the two hills I encounter a flock of starlings, happily singing and freely pooping on a car from their electricity pole perch.

These are the same kind as I saw in DC, though a bit smaller. I'm charmed by their diverse melodies, especially the catcall:

and the questioning call:

It's funny to be an urban birder: instead of stealthily trying to wait for or sneak up on my bird, I wait out the passing cars, trucks and dogs to get a somewhat clean recording. Meanwhile the urban birds are bold and could care less who is passing by.

At home, a sketch of a tune pitting the relentlessness of city traffic against the meandering, free bird melodies.


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